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4
Moderate to Challenging
Activities
  • guided walk
Accommodation
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 5 Breakfasts

6 Days£2465GBP

Overview

Trip Code: ILS

Trip highlights


  • Combine two of Iceland's best known hikes, the Laugavegur Trail and a section of the Fimmvörðuháls Trek
  • Crossing the third largest geothermal zone in the world
  • Experiencing the dramatic landscape and natural beauty of this classic trail
  • Staying in rustic mountain huts
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of your fellow walkers

Combine two of Iceland's best known hiking trails, the Laugavegur Trail which offers all the colours of the rainbow over the course of the hike, and the Fimmvörðuháls Trek. Beginning in the geothermal valley of Landmannalaugar in the southern highlands the route heads south past small gorges to the Þórsmörk valley. Arriving at the foot of Eyjafjallajökull volcano which last erupted in 2010 and whose crater is completely covered by an icecap, marks one of the many highlights of the trip. The trail then crosses the third biggest geothermal zone in the world where steaming hot springs are dotted through the landscape, over the yellow rhyolite mountains, through black deserts, past great canyons and into the green valley of Thórsmörk. The walk takes you through the magical landscapes of Goðalönd – the abode of the Gods where a multitude of flowers and grasses cover the cliffs and glaciers, volcanoes and lava streams occupy the view. After hiking up to the fascinating terrain of Fimmvörðuháls and back to Básar, Þórsmörk, you will end your 6-day trek with a short hike in the oasis of Þórmörk. Throughout this guided trip you will stay in mountain huts, with your luggage transferred daily.

Important note: This hike is grade 4, moderate to challenging and suits those that are physically active and have experience walking in mountainous terrain with a backpack. You should expect to walk 6-7 hrs. per day over rough terrain with some river crossings. It is a requirement of joining this trip that you take full responsibility for meeting the physical fitness requirements of the trip. If you are not fit enough or not properly equipped for the trip you may be dismissed from the tour at your own expense.

Countries:

Iceland

Starting Point:

Reykjavik


Meet your guide and group in Reykjavik early this morning (at 6.30am). We take the early bus that drives along the mountain tracks that lead to Landmannalaugar, passing by the Hekla volcano and others volcanoes in the Domadalur area. Arriving in Landmannalaugar around noon, we have lunch then start out by crossing the 500-year-old Laugahraun lava flow that is still giving heat to Landmannalaugar hot springs. Climbing steadily past numerous Sulphur vents, we top a succession of rolling rhyolite hills before descending to the steaming hot springs of Stórihver. As we get higher, the better we can understand the forces of nature. Up on the plateau, steam rises in all directions from unseen vents and we reach the Hrafntinnusker mountain hut in the late afternoon. Distance: 12km/7.5mi, ascent: 470m/1502ft

Meals:  L,D

Today we head south into the canyon complex to the south of Hrafntinnusker. Descending into the gorges of Jökultungur, we come across steaming hot springs and mud pools. The route winds southwards, crossing old snow patches and climbing ridges where we have views across dark volcanic plains towards lake Álftavatn and the Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull glaciers. Crossing the southern edge of the Torfa-jökull Massif, we descend a long slope towards the black sands and palagonite ridges around Lake Álftavatn (Swan Lake). Arriving at the lake, one of the most beautiful locations on our route, we check in at the Álftavatn hut for our overnight stay. Distance: 12km/7.5 mi, descent: 490m/1610ft

Meals:  B,L,D

On day three there are several rivers to cross, as we head southwards and towards Mýrdalsjökull Icecap. Some of these glacial streams and rivers are bridged, but others need to be forded - a chilly experience for the feet so keep your river shoes handy. It can also be a good idea to wear your rain trousers to cut the cold. We descend to the green oasis of Hvanngil, where there is a mountain hut. We continue our walk, crossing another couple of rivers, to reach the surreal 5km-wide, black sand plain of Mælifellssandur, beneath the conical peak of Stórasúla. Heading now towards Hattfell, another ancient volcano, we reach the Emstrur region where farmers used to graze their sheep in summer. Before arriving at the Botnar Mountain Hut (our accommodation for the night) we visit the magnificent Markarfljót canyon, which is cut almost 200m into the rocks south of Hattfell. Distance: 16km/10mi, descent: 40m/131ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The first challenge today is to cross the bridge across Emstrur River. Having overcome this obstacle, we trek through the magnificent Markarfljót Canyon, which was carved out by thundering floods, caused by volcanic eruptions under the ice cap. The effects of erosion are visible at every step on this trek and nowhere more obvious than in the Þórsmörk Valley. For the first time on our trek, we enter a green and well-vegetated valley, which becomes more luxuriant the closer we get to Þórsmörk. The last part of the hike is through thick birch forest, where even the lava ridges are covered with scrubby trees and the lovely arctic flowers that bloom for a few weeks each summer. Þórsmörk means Þór's forest and it is not hard to see why this area should be considered to belong to a Norse God. It is out of this world! The valley is guarded on all sides by tremendous, fast-flowing rivers and steep glacier clad mountains. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Iceland and a weekend favourite for Reykjavik's hikers. Overnight in one of Þórsmörk's huts. Distance: 17km/10.5mi, descent: 300m/985ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We start the hike in the magic landscapes of Goðalönd – the abode of the Gods. Nesting at the foot of two glaciers this is a wonderland of ridges and cliffs covered by a multitude of flowers and grasses, certainly fit for gods and humans alike. Even the elves have made themselves at home here. We continue up the hills leading to the pass of Fimmvörðuháls, walking along the Kattarhryggir ridges with views to the impressive mountain of Útigönguhöfði up to Morinsheiði heath. At the end of the Morinsheiði plateu we enjoy the view of the lava stream that flowed down from the Fimmvörðuháls volcano in 2010. As we gain height above Morinsheiði we come to the lava and then to the two craters Magni and Móði that erupted prior to the main Eyjafjallajökull crater. We head back to Þórsmörk with the magnificent view over the glaciers and this beautiful valley for our celebration barbeque dinner and night in Básar hut. Distance: 20km/12.5mi, ascent/descent: 900m/2953ft

Meals:  B,L,D

We spend the last day in Þórsmörk, a hiker’s paradise, where we have an abundance of choice between various paths. For example, we can visit the Sönghellir cave (“Song cave”), climb up the small mountain of Valahnúkur from where the magnificent views can be enjoyed, or hike into the beautifully carved canyon Stakkholtsgjá. This oasis between the mountains is also an ideal place to relax and just enjoy nature. We take the 3pm bus to return to Reykjavik, arriving in the evening (approx 7.30pm). Distance: 5-10km/3-6mi

Meals:  B,L


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners. Special diets can be catered for on request (e.g. vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free diet) however a supplement will apply. Please advise us of any special dietary requirements at the time of booking.
  • 5 nights in mountain huts on a multishare basis (dormitory style, sleeping bag needed)
  • Experienced English speaking walking guide for 7 days
  • Cooking gear
  • Luggage transfer during the trek - soft duffel bag is preferable, max weight 18kg pp (excess luggage can be stored in luggage lockers in Reykjavik)
  • Transport from Reykjavik to Landmannalaugar and from Þórsmörk to Reykjavik

  • Travel to and from Reykjavik
  • Transport to and from the meeting point in Reykjavik
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Pre & post tour accommodation in Reykjavik
  • Sleeping bag & hiking poles. Available for hire (must be pre-paid)
  • Showers in huts (payable locally)
  • Special dietary surcharge (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free) - supplement applies
  • Tips
  • Items of a personal nature

Accommodation


Suitability

Moderate to Challenging

4

The trip involves daily walks of up to 7 hours per day. There are some hills but most are moderate, and a few steep sections which require care - but on average the trail is a descent. The trail is not paved, but paths have naturally formed over time. It can be a bit rocky in parts, but easily accessible to those used to hiking in uneven terrain. Participants will need to cross rivers during the trek, these are Grashagakvísl (day 2), Bratthálskvísl (day 3), Blafjallakvísl (day 3) Þröngá (day 4). The water levels can change from time to time due to seasonal conditions, your guide will advise on river crossing and help you to cross the river. Trekking poles can come in handy when wading rivers. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. Weather conditions may be harsh at times and you will need to be comfortable walking in such conditions. We suggest up to one hour of strenuous exercise 3-4 times a week. The total walking distance is up to 86km (53 miles), at altitudes between 150-1100m (490-3600 feet). The maximum ascent is 1000m (3280 feet).


Departure dates


Notes

Note:
Sleeping bag is required for all departures. Hire facility is available.
Note:
All of the huts are heated, some have electricity and some have hot water. They have dormitories with single and twin beds, participants have to be prepared to share a bunk with other travelers from the group

Priceper person from

£2465GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Hiking pole hireGBP£24
  • Optional sleeping bag hireGBP£60
  • Supplement for vegetarian/vegan/gluten free dietaryGBP£60
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


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Videos

Walking Iceland's Laugavegur Trail | UTracks Active Travel

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